Diary 14th April

In ‘Crowds of Power’, Elias Canetti gives us an example of inter-tribal warfare in South America. A Taulipang tribal warrior tells how they wiped out a neighbouring tribe, the Pishauko. According to Canetti, the Taulipang launched a surprise night attack on their enemies village. Apparently the Pishauko witch doctor sensed their approach from the ‘spirit dimension’ and warned everyone of danger, but the villagers ignored him. The Taulipang warriors dully appeared and began clubbing the Pishauko to death. They set fire to the huts and tossed all the Pishauko children into the flames.

How did the Pishauko witch doctor ‘sense’ the impending attack?

We know that Neanderthal man buried his dead with some sort of ritual (seeds of brightly coloured flowers were interred with the corpse – probably, they were woven into somekind of shroud). Chunks of manganese dioxide have been found in their caves worn down on one side as if used as crayons. Ritual art is a strong possibility. Undoubtedly, Neanderthal man and woman had religion (indicated also by the stone spheres representative of the Sun and Moon found in their habitations), and religion is obviously the outcome of thinking about the Universe.

200,000 years ago at Pech de l’Aze in the Dordogne, homo erectus took time out to engrave the rib bone of an ox – the engraving, the earliest we know of, is of three arc-like patterns overlapping. Is this, too, a representation of symbolic (religious?) significance?

175,000 years ago Cro-Magnon man was busy painting the walls of caves – in the deepest, darkest, remotest parts of caves. Vivid paintings of bison, deer, wild boar and wild horses. It was Salomon Reinach in 1903 who suggested the probable magical significance of these paintings; magic ritual to lure the animals to Cro-Magnon traps; lure the food to the table.

Alexander Marshack in his book ‘The Roots of Civilization’ suggests the Cro-Magnons were far less primitive than previously thought: they recorded a basic calendar on animal bones to anticipate the seasonal migration of animals, their food supply. In effect they invented a simple form of writing!

It is speculative, but a strong possibility, that religious art extended far back in time beyond the highly developed art of the Cro-Magnon people. It is probable that homo erectus, over 200,000 years ago, with their much enlarged brain capacity, used ritual magic in an attempt to control nature, to control their food supply.

So, you might ask, what has this to do with that Pishauko witch doctor?

Well, ancient man had no need to ask questions about the forces of nature; he FELT them around him, as a fish feels every change in water pressure through nerves in its sides. The result was most likely a curious sense of unity with the earth and heavens that homo sapiens – us, in other words – generally lost a long time ago. Ancient mans religion, his rituals, weren’t an attempt to ‘explain’ his world – it was a natural response to its forces.

In much the same way, the Pishauko witch-doctor was able to FEEL the approach of his enemies. All shamans, witch-doctors, magicians, witches and sacred priests, throughout human history, have claimed they derive their powers from ‘spirits’, often those of the dead. Sure we can dismiss this as primitive superstition – but we’ll be missing the point if we consider it an attempt to explain ‘life’ after death. Shamans do NOT believe in ‘spirits’; they EXPERIENCE them first hand – or at least, experience something they accept as the ‘spirit world’. Thus, boys and girls, I’d suggest it unlikely Neanderthal man performed burial rites because he ‘believed’ in life after death. He performed them because he took it for granted that he was surrounded by ‘spirits’, and these included the ‘spirits’ of the dead and the spirits of nature – otherwise known to us as ‘elementals’. Our Pishauko witch doctor, engaging in a ‘magic’ ritual to help a sick tribe member, and communicating with his ‘spirit guides’ was promptly alerted to the impending danger of attack.

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What will happen on Beltane?

We’ll take part in the Great Rite, of course – experience the type of sex where we are so deeply entwined, so far in to each other’s darknesses and each other’s souls that we will be as one. Passionate, lustful, almost savage fucking. That’s what will happen.

For Beltane is a time for love. A time for merging with the goddess; for seeing the world through each other’s eyes. It is a time for bonfires and dancing. It is a time to be joined by spirits, in celebration of the Earth’s great fecundity. See their ghost shapes, milky white, dancing beside you in the trailing smoke from the bonfire. Eat, drink, love…

The space beyond truth

April 9, 2017

Diary 9th April

Me, age ten. My older cousin Debs, fair and freckled, hitched up her skirt in the bathroom to show me where a boy must put “his thing” to make a baby.

“Obviously,” she reassured me, “it’s got to be stiff when you do that…”

And funnily enough, looking at what she had down there, I was very stiff. But a baby…? How could a baby come from such a small opening?

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My mother spoke frequently of my sister’s second husband’s sexual problems. These she attributed to an excess of wanking as a child. He had, she insisted, a terrible crush on another boy while in sixth form college. My sister, lacking a penis, was no doubt second best when it came to his choice of life-partner. Although how my mother acquired such intimate knowledge of him I haven’t the slightest idea.

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The beautiful weather continues. I will spend the day in the garden, pottering about in the bright sunshine and drinking G&Ts from tall iced glasses. Probably, we’ll all be legless by teatime.

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Aromatherapy has been practiced for many, many years. There is, of course, a spiritual side to this form of massage. There are Wiccans who in their practice of witchcraft can create potions and elixirs which by the ritual reciting of spells energise these herbs and ingredients to a whole new level of potency. They are able to produce aromatherapy oils that work on the brain, creating states of euphoria and bliss the like of which you will never have experienced before.

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And, of course, we’re thinking about Beltane. Food, drink and love starting on the evening of 30th April and continuing throughout the 1st of May in celebration of the Gods and Goddess’ of fertility and love. It is a time of fire and raw sex. Bonfires and rituals. A time to practice “The Great Rite”, reenacting the creation of the universe through acts of ritual sex – celebrating our bodies and creating magical power while engaging in acts of love outdoors. Perfect.

guide the dead home…

October 30, 2016

halloween3

It is customary to celebrate Samhain with a ritual to guide the dead home by opening a western facing door or window and placing a candle by the opening…

Samhain essentials….

October 24, 2016

cone-of-power

Incantation

August 24, 2016

trees3
Be hole, be dust, be dream, be wind
Be night, be dark, be wish, be mind,
Now slip, now slide, now move unseen,
Above, beneath, betwixt, between.

Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book

like Witches

June 16, 2016

treesandlight

Like Witchcraft, conjure is the magic of the people, that wisdom and power hidden within us all that is accessible to everyone regardless of economic status, and, like Witches, conjurers and rootworkers embrace this power as a vocation to help those in need. It works within the context of all religions for it is the spirit that flows through them all.

Christian Day
The Witches’ Book of the Dead

Stonehenge from above

April 5, 2016

stonehengefromabove

They paced the distance, built an earthen ring,
Split hard rock, pushed up each crushing stone,
And built a doorway for the rising sun
To enter when the Earth turned back to spring.

An ancient avenue, marked in the earth,
Leads straight southwest, and at the ring, it ends.
On every side the vast tan plain extends.
The stones cast sharp black shadows to the north.

A photograph was snapped by satellite
After five thousand years passed in that field.
A perfect circle, suddenly revealed:
The ring of berm and ditch, seen from a height.

They knew the sun and stars, sandstone and wood.
Look down and see the depths they understood.

Emily Burns

fire keepers…

April 4, 2016

ritual

Woman’s role in the ritual maintenance of fire continued down through the centuries, as seen in the vestal virgins of Rome and the Irish nuns of St. Brigid at Kildare, who tended sacred fires until the time of Henry VIII. As fire keepers women would have been in charge of pottery, ceramics, and metallurgy. As the primary gatherers of herbs, grains, nuts, berries, and roots, women would in all likelihood have been the original herbalists and pharmacologists. With their knowledge of medicinal herbs and remedies, women were the first official healers and health-care providers.(The World Health Organization relates that 95 percent of all health care even today is provided by women.) Cataloguing and explaining to their daughters the various parts of plants, and showing how to prepare them, pointing out which were poisonous

Laurie Cabot
Power of the witch

warlock

High Priest (HP) stands to High Priestess’(HPS) left; both face Coven.

HP: “Listen to the words of the Great Mother; she who of old was also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Cybele, Arianrhod, Isis, Dana, Bride and by many other names. At her altars the youth of Lacedaemon in Sparta made due sacrifice.”

HPS: “Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all the 12 witcheries. There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will I teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise. For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and mine also is joy on earth; for my law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. For mine is the secret door which opens upon the Land of Youth, and mine is the cup of the wine of life, and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality. I am the Gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace and freedom and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand aught in sacrifice; for behold, I am the Mother of all living, and my love is poured out upon the earth.”

HP: “Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess; she in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, and whose body encircles the Universe.”

HPS: “I who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, call unto thy soul. Arise, and come unto me. For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. From me all things proceed, and unto me all things must return; and before my face, beloved of Gods and of men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thee findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.”

Janet and Stewart Farrar
The Witches Bible

Chant for the Goddess

December 18, 2015

chant